While waiting on a delayed flight, David Trask, who has left his unfaithful wife, meets three of his fellow passengers. When the aircraft crashes, he is one of few survivors, and sets out to resolve their unfinished business.
Dave Hirsch, a writer and an army veteran winds up in his small Indiana hometown, to the dismay of his respectable older brother. He meets and befriends various different characters and tries to figure out what to do with his life.
Three American women, rooming together while working abroad in Rome, Italy, hope for romance and marriage. Frances, oldest of the three, has been fifteen years a secretary to novelist John Frederick Shadwell, a man whom she loves but whose reclusive nature prompts most people to believe him long since dead. Anita, one week away from returning to America (under the claim of getting married), finally bucks company rules (and gets caught) by finally accepting an invitation from an Italian co-worker to visit his family's farm for his sister's wedding. Newly arrived Maria soon sets her generally innocent eyes on Dino di Cessi, an actual prince with a reputation for womanizing, and makes a play for him by making herself his perfect match.Written by
Anima e Core
Music by Salvatore Esposito
(This song was sung at the hillside picnic near the home of Giorgio when he took Anita to meet his parents.)
I have corrected the spelling of the title of this song, and I have corrected the composer's name and the Songwriter's name. Your automatic system would not allow me to correct the songwriter's name which should be: Domenico Titomanlio. See more »
"Three Coins in the Fountain" is a typical 1950's "Women's Picture." Back then, Hollywood studio executives were sure that the only thing a woman ever wanted to do with her life was find a husband and get married.
Today, this film would be called a "chick flick." Modern feminists will probably hate it, because the three female leads seem to have marriage on their minds...and not much else.
In the movie, three secretaries share an apartment at the "Villa Eden" in Rome. It's one of those overly-spacious apartments that looks like it was decorated by a Hollywood set designer. How can they afford such a luxurious apartment? "Oh, the rate of exchange in Rome is very favorable for Americans." Uh huh.
Miss Frances (Dorothy McGuire) has been serving as secretary for John Frederick Shandwell (Clifton Webb), a snooty American writer, who has been living in Rome for the past 15 years. (As other reviewers have pointed out, this skips over the fact that they would have been living in Rome before and during World War II, an event that nobody ever mentions in the film.) He proposes marriage to her on the day before his doctor tells him he has only a year to live.
Frances' roommates, Anita Hutchins (Jean Peters) and Maria Willaims (Maggie McNamara), are working as secretaries at the United States Distribution Agency, one of those Hollywood "government agencies" with an eagle emblem on the door. Anita is about to return to America, because she can't find a man to marry in Rome. But then she finds love with Giorgio Binachi (Rossano Brassi), an Italian translator who works at the USDA. Unfortunately, Giorgio is immediately fired from his job for violating the USDA's policy against employees dating other employees, set in place by Mr. Burgoyne (Howard St. John), the doofus boss who runs the agency.
Meanwhile, Maria decides to ensnare Prince Dino di Cessi (Louis Jourdan), an Italian prince known as "the predatory prince." Maria pretends to like all the things the prince likes (Italian opera, playing the piccolo), to trick him into marrying her, but of course, she falls in love with him instead.
The movie's major strength is its outstanding cinematography, featuring beautiful views of Rome and Venice. But the story itself is dated and trite. The point of throwing "three coins in the fountain" is to ensure that you'll return to Rome. I don't think I'll return to *this* Rome.
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